We’re Now ‘Public’ Homeschoolers

Macy M2 comments4771 views

Well, we start on September 9th, but we told someone. The kids went to the doctor though for their well visits and we had to go through the lineup of questions: Is there a gun in the house? Do they wear bike helmets? 5-point or booster seat? Is he in daycare?

How was her first day of school? (because schools are now in session here)

I was very nervous to answer the last question

Pediatricians are mandated reporters. If they suspect neglect they legally have to report it. They just have to suspect something… A lot of what we do is not well liked by wide swaths of people. I have had too many people have big (negative) responses over the years. All I could do is hope their doctor won’t see a small house as neglect. Add in home school and I get nervous all over again.

I remember looking up what a mandated reporter was when I was first pregnant, living tiny. The things that worried me were never how I would raise amazing kids but how others would perceive my methods. I wondered if, after having Hazel, it would be a no-no to mention that we live in a tiny house to her doctor. I’ve never done well with ‘secrets’ though. I was still super scared to say the wrong thing, the wrong way. Tiny houses were not near so popular 6 years ago. There were no TV shows. It wasn’t a common term. Definitely not one that was looked kindly on.

Oh, how the times have changed!

Now it begins again!

While we were on our trip, our pediatrician transferred departments. She was promoted because she was really great. This meant that we got a new pediatrician. Scared all over again. You really never know what kind of opinion they are going to form:

Will they think we are lucky ducks (like we tend to feel)?


Will they jump to conclusion about all the bruises up and down their legs from playing outside? And see the recent scarring on Hazel’s face from the face plant she took at the swimming pond? Is Miles being pretty tiny for his age is equal to malnourishment? Will they ask more questions and hear about the tiny house and get concerned? Will they also think we are doing a disservice to our kids by ‘dragging them around the country in a little box’? (someone once wrote me a very long email about how our National Park trip was nothing short of child abuse…)

I didn’t really have an answer

I know this fear is stronger in me because of the publicity I have had over the years, and the subsequent emails of disapproval. All I can do though is be honest and deal with the consequences.

So, when asked how her first day of school was, I answered, she doesn’t start until September 9th.

Her response:

“Good for you!”

She legit said good for you. Like she was proud of our decision to side step on public school. At least for this year. This decision of ours caused her exactly zero ‘concern’. She followed it up with questions about our trip, our new property and our tiny house and natural building goals. She said it all sounded exhausting to her but if that’s what we’re into then that’s great and that it sounds neat!

I found irony in a Dr. saying OUR plans of building natural structures, guiding the education of our kiddos, traveling and dabbling in homesteading sounded exhausting. I mean… who works harder than a doctor! It isn’t something that just happens overnight!!

I guess when it’s not your passion other things can seem hard. I definitely don’t have the energy to become a doctor! But our plans… We’ve got this. Happily!

We are prepared

Hazel picked out her backpack. Of course rainbow. We picked out a patch to go on it (the goal is to pick a new one to add every year). I showed her how to sew it on this year, next year she’ll sew it on herself.

We decided on Blossom and Root for a curriculum. It reaches into all the core subjects but is focused on nature and play which I love. Learning basic math with sun flowers. Starting in on history via interviews with our own family members. A history of us. That makes history seem a lot more fun than I remember! We’ve got everything bound and ready to kick off September 9th! As scared as I may have been to say it out loud to the doctor, it was freeing. I am far more excited and ready than I expected to be!

P.S. – All their development is on point!



  1. My daughter has her appointment coming up, too, and I’ve been mentally preparing for what I want to say to the medical professionals when they ask about school. I’m glad I’m not the only one who worries about this, and I’m glad that you received such a positive response!

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